Mel Kiper’s latest 2022 NFL Mock Draft includes a new No. 1 and two trades

Tuesday marks the start of the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, which means that ESPN NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper has released his latest 2022 NFL Mock Draft.

In his latest mock draft, Kiper has a new No.1 overall pick and a pair of trades.

First, let’s get to the No. 1 overall pick, which is currently held by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

As it stands, most people have the Jaguars selecting Alabama OT Evan Neal with the No. 1 overall pick and though Kiper has the Jags addressing the OT position, he has them going with a different player.

in his latest mock, Kiper has the Jaguars selecting Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State.

Here is what Kiper has to say about that pick.

Offensive tackle or edge rusher here? I don’t think the Jaguars are set either way. Realistically, this is down to four prospects: Ekwonu, Evan NealAidan Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibodeaux. New coach Doug Pederson and the Jags will get an opportunity to meet with each of them at the combine. They’ll get a front seat to all four on-field workouts, of course, but what goes on behind the scenes matters just as much.

Ultimately, I lean toward Jacksonville getting protection for quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who struggled as a rookie. This could go the other way if the organization brings back Cam Robinson in free agency, but Ekwonu — who is a hot name among NFL teams — would be an immediate upgrade. If the Jags can protect Lawrence with Ekwonu on the left side and Walker Little on the right, they can begin to turn around the offense. As McShay mentioned in his latest mock, 2013 was the last time an offensive tackle went No. 1 overall (Eric Fisher to the Chiefs).

With the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Kiper has the Detroit Lions selecting Michigan EDGE, Aidan Hutchinson, who has become the most popular pick for in most mocks.

The Lions are in a great spot here, with a clear need at edge rusher and one of the best two prospects guaranteed to be available. Hutchinson is a local kid who just finished second in the voting for the Heisman Trophy, racking up 14 sacks and 19 total tackles for loss and dominating Big Ten offensive tackles. This is not just a sentimental pick because he went to Michigan; Hutchinson is an elite defender.

Detroit’s defense is still a few pieces away from being average — there are big questions in the secondary, too — but this should be a rush-to-the-podium selection.

At No. 32, Kiper has the Lions selecting QB Matt Corral out of Ole Miss.

Here is what Kiper has to say about that pick.

Let’s end this mock draft with another quarterback, because I’m not convinced Jared Goff will be Detroit’s long-term signal-caller. Corral could be, though, and in this scenario he could get time to learn behind Goff in 2022, when the Lions almost certainly won’t be contending in the NFC North. Yes, they have several needs, but if they can get a quarterback with a fifth-year option, they could continue the positive momentum of their rebuild.

Corral took a step forward in 2021, throwing 20 touchdown passes and just five picks. He’s a dual-threat quarterback who can beat teams with his legs, but he ran an RPO-centric offense at Ole Miss, and he’s going to need to learn how to adapt in the NFL. He can spin the football, though. Corral won’t work out for NFL teams at the combine, which means all eyes will be on his pro day in late March.

In addition, Kiper has a pair of first round trades, including the Cleveland Browns and New Orleans Saints both trading up to select a wide receiver.

Click here to see Kiper’s latest mock draft.

Written by W.G. Brady

W.G. Brady is a Detroit-based journalist who has been covering the Detroit sports scene for Detroit Sports Nation for several years. He is in his early 30s and has a wealth of experience in the industry. Throughout his career, W.G. has established himself as a respected and knowledgeable journalist known for his in-depth coverage of the teams and athletes in Detroit. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for sports, W.G. has become a go-to source for fans and readers looking for the latest news and analysis on the Detroit sports scene. He has a good reputation in the sports community and is respected for his unbiased coverage of sports events. W.G. is known for his ability to uncover hidden stories and provide unique perspectives on the teams and athletes he covers. He has a good understanding of the city of Detroit and its sports culture, which he uses to inform his reporting and analysis. He continues to be a respected journalist in the Detroit sports industry.

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